There's still a need in my life for utility quilts. Quilts that are soft and cuddly and not unpleasant to the eye. But aren't beautiful. Or fussy.
I've been making one of those for our friend LD. LD is a new friend of mine, but an old friend of Rob's. She went with us to a quilt show this summer. At that show, I picked up a variety of fabrics. Lots of large scale flowers for some reason, even though that is so not what I usually select. I'm more of a tone on tone kind of guy or small scale prints with lots of background showing through. Things that read as solids and create distinct lines between one piece of fabric and another. Large scale florals tend to have one corner of a piece that disappears into the adjoining fabric, just enough to throw off a design.
But, without even thinking about it, just buying the fabrics that I was drawn to that day, I ended up with a great collection of large scale florals in green, brown, gold and a red-orange zinger.
LD asked what I was collecting fabrics for and I told her I didn't know. I usually just picked things up and when I got home, I looked at what I had and it usually ended up being a perfect quilt. She called that "the palette in my mind's eye that day."
There wasn't quite enough there and I tossed in almost all the large scale floral fat quarters that were in my stash. And, I made a pinwheel quilt using the Square Dance pattern from Martha Thompson. She doesn't really give the number of sqares to start with to make a big quilt and I wanted a very comfortably large lap quilt for LD. I kinda overdid it and it came out a great length, but very wide...wide enough to cuddle with a grandbaby. Perfect.
Then, it was time to quilt it. I have ideas about things that go together. For a pinwheel quilt, I have a random curvy pattern that reminds me of wind blowing. I love it on pinwheels and leaf pattern quilts. Large scale, loose quilting. The fabrics were all florals, so I quilted a flower in the first border. And, the last border had leaves in the fabric print, so I quilted in maple leaves. All really large scale. Nothing fancy. Nothing I'd be ashamed for any experienced quilter to see. But, not something I'd enter into a show, either. And, I'm good with that because not every quilt has to be a show quilt. Some just need to be comfy. And, warm.
The whole time I've been working on this quilt, the name has been "the palette in my mind's eye." What could be more appropriate?
And, then I was stumped. First off, I did not really look forward to hand stitching a binding to the back of such a large quilt. It would take hours. And, hours.
It was one of the reasons I bought a new thimble.
And, I couldn't figure out what fabric to use for the binding. I wanted to use from stash and I pulled one fabric. Hated it. Then, I pulled two more of a different color. Hated it.
At this point, I suffered quilter's paralysis, otherwise known as indecision. When I suffer indecision, I just stop. So, I pushed LD's quilt to the side and started on that feathered star baby quilt. And, LD's quilt stared at me and I caught site of it from the corner of my eye.
This morning, I pulled out a piece of the outer border fabric, the one with the leaves on it, and I laid it against the backing and it looked real nice. So, I was about to unfold that and iron it and use it for a binding. So what if there was no contrast between the binding and the outer border. Not every quilt has to be a show quilt.
Anyway, just before I started to unfold, I thought, "if those look so good together, why not do a foldover binding and machine stitch it from the front. That is so quick! And, I could get it to her faster, before we have any more cold weather. And it will look great." Not every quilt has to be a show quilt.
On the way to work, I talked to Rob. He'd heard from LD. LD has cancer. She's a cancer survivor, twice now. Right now, it's in her hips but they're going to do a full body scan to see if it's anywhere else.
DAMN IT TO HELL.
I think I'm going to the men's for a bit of a cry now. But, tonight, I'll be finishing the binding on that quilt. So we can deliver it Saturday.